The Grey Place


I was fleeing towards the grey place. fleeing, fleeing, fleeing, as fast as ever I could. Something had taken over me and I was fleeing. Fleeing to that terrible grey place. I don’t know what had taken over me, what had come over me, but all I knew was that I had to flee. I had no interest in anything that wasn’t fleeing – fleeing was all that I cared for. Whatever it was that had gotten into me was very single-minded in this respect. It knew of nothing else but fleeing. A terrible urgency had overtaken me, an urgency that could not be denied. An unholy urgency. It animated my thoughts and my limbs. It animated my will. It ran me. It operated everything about me, and all in pursuit of that grey place. What, you might wonder, is so great about that grey place? Why the hurry to get there? This is of course the funny thing (although in some ways it is not so funny): there is nothing good about the grey place, nothing good about it at all. It has no redeeming features, no worthwhile qualities. It has NO qualities at all and that’s the whole point of it. The grey place is characterized by its complete lack of qualities, like a person with absolutely no personality. There is no life in it, no nothing. Everything worthwhile, everything wholesome, is elsewhere. Life is elsewhere. All good things are elsewhere. All joy is elsewhere. The grey place is barren beyond description – no desert was ever as barren as this. Even the most arid, the most hostile desert has its secret life. Not so the grey place to which I hasten. As I have said, there is no life there, secret or otherwise. There is no anything there and yet – I can’t wait to get there! Or I should say, the thing inside me – the thing that controls me – can’t wait to get there. I’m just the passenger. I’m just the passive witness to all this fleeing. To all this unceasing fleeing through life, as if nothing mattered but reaching the grey place, and making the time it takes to get there as shortened as possible. As non-existent as possible. Or maybe it is me that wants this. Maybe I’m deceiving myself – maybe it’s me all along and I’m trying to pretend that it isn’t. So that I don’t have to face this terrible perversity that lies within me. So that I don’t have to take responsibility for it. I don’t know. I can’t tell. Mainly I think it’s the thing inside me that wants to go to the grey place. It’s playing a clever game with me, making me doubt myself, controlling me, making me think that it is me…







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